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Ride Bikes Radio

Most of you have been playing the Don Burnside home game. Because of this, you also know that I re-discovered riding bikes. They are all over my social media and over here on my side of the screen, I’ll talk about bicycles to anyone that will listen.

So I have decided to put this excitement to good use.

I have been wanting to add additional shows under the White Roof for a while. Not looking to build up a full blown network, yet. Just another show or two. A bunch of people have been telling me that a bicycle podcast is what we needed, so a bicycle podcast is what I have created!

Ride Bikes Radio is the name, bicycling is our game. With my pal Brian Dallas, who has spent his entire life in and around bicycles, we talk every week about topics that would interest the normal, everyday cyclist. We aren’t talking about million dollar carbon bikes or the latest racing results, no sir! We are discussing safety, maintenance tips, community news & events. Oh, and beer. Do not forget the beer.

Our fourth episode just went out and I’m really please with the direction the show is taking. If you like riding bicycles for any reason, you should check us out. The latest episode is below and you can also find us where finer podcasts are served.

macandtomato

Recipe: Macaroni & Tomato

One of the favorite lunches Mom used to make when we were kids. It’s a perfect storm of noodles, butter, tomato and pepper. Always warms the soul and is cheap and easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1lb macaroni (elbow or shells work best)
  • 1 28oz can whole tomatoes, chopped
    • I use scissors in the can for this, but do what you like
  • 1 15oz can of pinto or black beans
  • 1/2 stick of butter. Yes, butter. Don’t use margarine you animal.
  • Fresh cracked pepper. A lot.

Preparation

  • Boil your noodles. Drain
  • In the same pain (because we are lazy), add your tomatoes with the juice
  • Add the beans
  • Bring to a boil to let the juice evaporate a bit. Give it about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the butter.
  • Remove from heat, serve with pepper on top

You can add cheese or garlic if you want. Or any spices. You’ll notice I didn’t include salt in the recipe because I know you salt your pasta water and with the butter you just don’t need it. But, if you think you do, go ahead and add some.

thewhitebike

The Sunday Post: The White Bike

The bike that reminded me that I like riding bikes back in 2014 and has close to 1,000 miles on it has been slowly getting repaired/upgraded.

The White Bike

It started back in 2014 with a Sunday Funday on bikes. I was on a borrowed bike for the day (since I didn’t have one) and it reminded me how much I liked riding bikes. The next week, I punched up Amazon and ordered this machine, a Critical Cycles Single Speed/Fixed Gear bike.

I started riding around the ‘hood, 2 miles. 5 miles. 7 miles. I keep that going until I started getting brave and pushed it to 10. I remember my first 10 mile ride. Thought I was going to die. I actually had to stop and rest for about 15 minutes when I was less than 1 mile from home. I couldn’t even walk well enough to push it home.

Then I did my first big ride, 20 miles in the shape of a 10 mile to brunch and a 10 mile ride back after. After that I was hooked. Miles started racking up. I even got brave enough to ride it on the street fixed (if the back wheel is moving, the pedals are moving, like a unicycle), managing a 15 mile ride that way once.

So, this is the bike that started it all.

But it is an inexpensive bike, made with cheap parts. It’s a bike made for college kids or hipsters to ride to class or around town. Not so much for clocking big miles. And big miles means parts wear out, and this bike has needed some repairs. Bottom bracket and crank. Tires. A new chain (installed tonight). I also swapped out the handle bars and replaced the seat. Back in fighting shape again.

Now I’m back to riding it.

Sometimes I just want to get out for 20-30 minutes and ride around the ‘hood. With it still getting dark to early and me not liking to ride on the streets with the after-work drivers, getting on the black bike for 15-30 miles just doesn’t work. So I’ll just pull this guy out and go ride bikes.

A few weekends ago, I even used it to do some bar hoping downtown, followed by a very nice bicycle tour. Up until it broke (which is why I replaced the chain). I’ll be using this bike again next weekend for an event ride, because that is what it is good for.

I was thinking about getting rid of it. Selling it and replacing it with a bike that I could use to ride around town for short errands, things like that. Now that I have done all of the repairs, and installed a fresh set of stickers, I’m remembering how good of a riding bike this really is, and why it got me back to riding bikes in the first place. And for that, it stays.

hamsoup

Another Pot of Soup

Man, I love leftovers during the holday season. Especially if the weather is cold, as it has been here in Arizona. Today, we are dealing with leftover ham and making a hearty soup. Like everything else, super easy, super delicious and it makes quite bit.

Christmas Ham Soup

For this you will need the left over bits of ham, you know, the tough parts from the end that nobody likes on sandwhiches because they are too tough. They work perfect for this recipe, especially if they are both tough and have a bit of extra fat.

Ingredients

  • Ham, the fattiest pieces, diced, about 2 cups
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 medium yellow or brown onion, diced
  • 2 russet potatoes, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • 1/2 12oz bottle of brown beer
  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Water to cover
  • 1 tbls red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Cooking

In your dutch oven or sturdiest soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat until it’s hot. Add the ham pieces and saute for 2 minutes. Drop the heat to medium and continue to cook until most of the fat is rendered and the ham is nicely browned. This will take about 5-7 minutes.

Add the carrots, onion, celery and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the beer. scrape the bottom of the pan to get the brown ham bits and let it cook for about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cover with water. Add the spices and garlic and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let cook with the lid on for 45 minutes. Finish with parsley and vinegar.

Mods

  • Add 1 can of black beans
  • Add a corn starch slurry and let it cook for an additional 10 minutes to thicken
  • Use white wine instead of beer and skip the vinegar. I would use a pinot gringo or something equally light, not a chardonnay.
  • Use the entire beer!

If this turns out correctly, you should have an amazing ham flavor with a hint of cinnamon. I thought it turned out really nice, hearty enough to be a meal but not so heavy to be a stew.

IMG_4579

Because I’m a Nerd

It’s been 10 years* since I’ve had a Windows powered computer. While it took me a solid 2 weeks of kicking, screaming and clawing my way into OSX, it is a journey I am glad I completed and have been cruising along happily ever since.

But, I’m a nerd. Just because I don’t have Windows on a dedicated PC doesn’t mean I still don’t want it. I mean, professionally, I need it to keep up with the rest of world. Also, I have yet to have held down a job where I was able to use a Mac, full time. They have all been Windows shops. So, ideally, I should have a windows PC.

I’m also poor. This means that owning a Windows PC should be a snap, right? Cruise down to Walmart and pick up whatever rattletrap, malware infested computer they have for less than $400. Done and done. Except I can’t justify wasting $400 in such a hideous manner.

So, a few weeks ago, Woot had a Shuttle Barebones PC on sales. Instead of Barebones, however, it was a complete I3. Low on RAM (which I took care of), still came with 2x160GB drives, a DVD drive and Windows 7. And it’s refurbished. Totally ok by me, I’ve bought reverb gear before.

Open the box and pull everything out. First thing I notice is the case for this computer appears to have been used for a jack stand at some point in it’s former life. Not that big of a deal for me, except the chassis is so out of whack the CPU fan buzzes like a herd of bees stuck inside of a backhoe bucket. It’s quite an unpleasant noise.

Get everything connected and the new RAM installed and fire it up. Windows boots as expected until I’m prompted to provide a Windows Key. Sure, not a problem, should be right here on the side of the case. Or in the box. Or in this other box that they keyboard came in. Ok, maybe the RMA form might have it on a sticker.

Nope.

Fantastic.

How about Windows 10? Let’s give that a shot. Seems to complete without issue until I go to login. It’s connected with a WiFi adapter that works perfectly well under Windows 7 before I started the install. No dice with Windows 10. I had to pull my 50′ ethernet cable out of storage to connect it to my network. As soon as I did that, I was able to login. Sure would have been nice to have an error message or something.

The only reason I bought this was to offload some of the load from my Mac MINI. I figured I could make that my Media/Backup server easy enough and let it run in my entertainment center. Oh, and it was cheap. Less than $180 (shipped) cheap. Plus, having access to Windows again for reference and other things would be nice.

I suppose that’s what I get. I’m going to see if any of the boys at work will buy it from me. Or, maybe I’ll put linux on it? ¬†Otherwise it’s going on eBay/Craigslist and I’ll go back to saving my pennies for another Mac Mini instead.

*10 years sounds really dramatic. It’s actually been about 8 1/2. But, drama wins here.